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August’s Annual Home Price Gains Set Post-Crisis Record

Home prices are well above their year-ago levels, as evidenced by the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. In fact, according to the report, the annual gain recorded in August was the fastest rate of growth since February 2006--up 12.8 percent from August last year. The monthly pace of appreciation, however, continues to slow. With prices rising just 1.3 percent from July to August, S&P says we may be approaching a plateau.

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Rising Rates and Prices, Static Incomes Lower Housing Affordability

Over the past year, home prices have risen 16 percent and mortgage rates have climbed from 3.7 percent to 4.43 percent, all while incomes have risen by just 3 percent, according to Bankrate's Interest.com website. These diverging trends have led to a decline in affordability across the nation. In all of the nation's 25 largest metros, it's less likely buyers can afford a home this year compared to last year.

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Slow Quarter Ahead Judging from Pending Home Sales

September's pending home sales point to a slow quarter during the final three months of the year. The National Association of Realtors says the numbers show buyers are struggling with declining levels of housing affordability. The trade group's pending sales index is a forward-looking indicator that's based on contract signings, not closings, and it has now fallen for four straight months.

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Investors’ Home Purchases Total $1 Trillion Since 2011

Since 2011, investors have purchased more than 950,000 homes; and with 370,000 purchases so far this year, they have already surpassed the number of purchases they made in either of the past two years, according to a new report from RealtyTrac. In total, investors have spent $1 trillion acquiring single-family residences since 2011.

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Housing Trends Settle for Cold Months, Inventory Decline Slows

According to RE/MAX's National Housing Report for September, closed transactions fell 18.5 percent month-over-month, in line with the typical trend as summer passes into autumn. Year-over-year, however sales increased 10.7 percent, making September the 27th consecutive month in which sales rose on an annual basis. The company also reported a slowdown in the rate of inventory decline.

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Home Value Appreciation Set to Ease Over the Next Year

The recent fast-paced home price appreciation across the country led some markets to the brink of a bubble, but deceleration over the summer months has Zillow analysts breathing a sigh of relief as the bubble threat deflates. Home value appreciation has declined steadily for three months, according to Zillow, and half of the nation's 20 largest metros experienced negative appreciation in September.

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Number of U.S. Mortgages Going Unpaid = 4,594,000

Lender Processing Services provided the media with a first look at the company's mortgage performance statistics for the month of September. The industry's foreclosure inventory continued its downward trend, and while delinquencies were up slightly from the previous month, they were down when comparing the numbers year-over-year. All-in-all, there are 4,594,000 mortgages going unpaid in the United States.

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Housing Market Performs Well Despite Rise in Interest Rates

Mortgage rates are inching higher and higher, but the market does not seem to be paying any heed as it continues to show signs of improvement, according to the HousingPulse Tracking Survey released this week. It indicates the emerging slowdown in home purchases appears to be largely seasonal with a number of key indicators--distressed sales, time on market, and purchase offers--still in positive territory.

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